The Story of Haplogroup I
Haplogroup I is the only Y-Chromosome haplogroup that is autochthonous to Europe. This means that is emerged (evolved) and is "native" to Europe, and also that is found almost nowhere else. The I Haplogroup emerged probably somewhere in Central Europe, after their ancestors, the second wave of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, colonized Europe. Haplogroup I is marked by the M170 marker, which all men carrying M26 also bear.
The Branches of Haplogroup I
Haplogroup I has diverged into several branches, or subclades. The three major branches are distributed primarily in Scandinavia (M253), the Balkans (P37.2 or L68), and Northern Germany. The distribution of these branches is clinal, meaning essentially, that it is possible to tell on a map clearly where the haplogroups likely originated, where they are most concentrated, and where they spread. Think of mapping a spill.
The distribution of subclade M26 is not clinal. There is no clear region where M26 emerged, and no clear map of its spread. Men bearing M26 are spread along the western seaboards of the Mediterranean and Atlantic. M26 has the most western distribution of any haplogroup.
Ethnic Groups Bearing M26
M26 is found among males of the following far-flung locales (in order of prevalence): Sardinia, Castile, coastal Spain, Pantellaria Island, Basque Country, Canary Islands, Sicily, Channel Islands, France, Ireland, coastal England, Holland, Italy, Wales, Corsica, southern Sweden, Belgium, Orkney Island.
Earliest Archaeological Sites in Western Europe Attributed to Haplogroup I
According to most theories, Haplogroup I is associated with Gravettian culture. The western Gravettians were responsible for the cave paintings at Lascaux, and other sites in France. If you are descended from I-M26, the westernmost marker and the only one still found in France and Spain, you are likely descended from humanity's first artists!
Studies and Graphics
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